The following article begs the question - Why do we continue to bow obsequiously to idiotic demands of muslim governments? If they don't feel comfortable with our presence and the aid it brings, why don't we just pick up our marbles and go home? Given muslim attitudes and practices, it is probably just a matter of time before our military gets attacked and aid workers get kidnapped and beheaded. Perhaps it is best to simply leave the muslim world the hell alone and let them rot since it appears that nothing we do is ever correct or acceptable in their perverted view of the world. The full article includes some items on proposed debt relief. I extracted the part that pissed me off the most. ============================================= http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6754820/ U.S. military under close Indonesian watch Marines wont set up camp as Indonesia is wary of foreign troops The Associated Press Updated: 2:28 p.m. ET Jan. 12, 2005BANDA ACEH, Indonesia - The U.S. military faced tighter restrictions Wednesday as the Indonesian government sought to reassert control over foreign troops, relief workers and journalists in the tsunami-devastated region, which has been the site of a rebel insurgency. The moves by the Indonesian government, aimed primarily at U.S. troops, underscore the nationalistic countrys sensitivities at having foreign military forces operating here, even in a humanitarian effort. They also come amid warnings from the Indonesian military that areas of tsunami-battered Aceh province may not be safe for aid workers.[/B] Although hundreds of troops from Australia, Singapore, Germany and other nations are also helping the relief mission, the United States has the largest presence by far in south Asia, with about 13,000 troops, almost all of them offshore. The Indonesian military is providing security for all those in its country. U.S. carrier leaves national waters The aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln, which is leading the U.S. militarys relief effort, steamed out of Indonesian waters Wednesday because the U.S. Navy has permission from the Indonesians only to fly aircraft into its airspace that are directly supporting the humanitarian operation, said Lt. Cmdr. John M. Daniels, a spokesman for the Lincoln carrier strike group. Helicopters will still deliver aid to Sumatras devastated coast, however. Indonesia declined to let the ships fighter pilots use its airspace for training missions. Under Navy rules, pilots of carrier-based warplanes cannot go longer than 14 days without flying, or their skills are considered to have degraded too far. Since the Abraham Lincoln has been stationed off Sumatra since Jan. 1, the carrier moved out of Indonesian waters so its pilots could conduct their training flights in international airspace. Indonesian Vice President Jusuf Kalla said foreign troops would be out of the country by March 31. A three-month period is enough, even the sooner the better, Kalla said. The government also ordered aid workers and journalists to declare travel plans or face expulsion from Aceh as authorities moved to reassert control of the rebellion-wracked area. The White House said Wednesday that it had asked the Indonesian government to explain the restrictions. We hope that the government of Indonesia and the military in Indonesia will continue the strong support they have provided to the international relief efforts so far, White House press secretary Scott McClellan said. Truces offered Security concerns threaten to hamper efforts to deliver aid to Aceh province on the northern tip of Sumatra island, where more than 100,000 people were killed and tens of thousands of others were left homeless or in need. The United Nations has been running the relief effort, appealing to donors attending a conference in Geneva to honor the unprecedented $4 billion in pledges to help victims. Separatists in the Aceh region have been fighting for an independent state for decades. Indonesias military chief offered the rebels a cease-fire Tuesday, matching a unilateral one already declared by the insurgents. The military has nevertheless warned that rebels could rob aid convoys and use refugee camps as hideouts, but it has yet to offer evidence to back its claims. It is important to note that the government would be placed in a very difficult position if any foreigner who came to Aceh to assist in the aid effort was harmed through the acts of irresponsible parties, the government said in a statement. Asked whether those who failed to register with the government before traveling outside the provincial capital, Banda Aceh, would be expelled, Welfare Minister Alwi Shihab said: I think that is one possibility. Australian Prime Minister John Howard described Indonesias demand as a good idea. It is very, very important that in the process of giving full effect to this magnificent international response that we recognize the difficulties in Aceh but that we dont overreact to them and we dont dramatize them, he said. (Bullshit. Here the west is pouring billions in relief to these people and their racist xenophobic government is getting picky about it) Clive Williams, director of terrorism studies at the Strategic and Defense Studies Center at Australian National University in Canberra, suggested, however, that the Indonesians wanted to keep close tabs on foreigners to conceal military corruption and not protect them from rebels. The big problem with dealing with [the military] in Aceh is that theyre involved in a lot of corruption there, and the reason I think they dont want people to go to some areas is because theyre involved in human rights abuses in those areas, Williams said. Marines pull back Before the tsunami, foreigners were banned from the area, and Wednesdays demand highlighted the unease with which Indonesia has faced the aid operation, replete with civilian aid workers and foreign soldiers. U.S. Marines have scaled back plans to send hundreds of troops ashore to build roads and clear rubble. Col. Tom Greenwood, commander of the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, said this week that they would instead keep only a minimal footprint. In a major compromise, the Marines agreed that they would not carry guns while on Indonesian soil and that the vast majority of troops would return to ships stationed off the coast after each days operations. The bulk of the Marines mission has become ferrying aid workers and transporting food from the amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard. The Marines flew a French medical team to the shattered city of Calang by helicopter Wednesday and delivered supplies to Indonesian troops in Meulaboh to the south. Navy crews based on the Abraham Lincoln have flown hundreds of relief missions in the past two weeks. U.N. agencies said they did not expect Jakartas order to affect their operations because their security officers already worked closely with Indonesias military. It could change the situation of [non-governmental organizations] who are moving around like private persons, said Mals Nyberg, a spokesman for the U.N. High Commission for Refugees. I guess thats what soldiers want to control that people are moving in conflict areas just like tourists. Nyberg said Indonesian bureaucracy had eased in recent days, allowing the organization to get permission faster for helicopter flights to outlying regions. Getting help to the neediest is already difficult, with roads washed away or blocked by downed trees. Kevin Kennedy, a senior official in the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, said food assistance had been delivered to all the affected people in Sri Lanka. But he said some villages on the hard-hit west coast of Sumatra had not been reached. He said the U.N. World Food Program was delivering aid to 300,000 people on the island.